Smaller bottles = less waste 🍼

In our repair café in Aarhus, Denmark, we’ve had some trouble, especially with our isopropyl alcohol quickly disappearing. We tried some small refill bottles and syringes for dosing, but people still poured from the 0.5L bottle into a cup or something similar.

Now, we have switched to 100 ml HDPE bottles with a pouring spout. It works really well, and the pouring spout delivers pretty much the same as the small 10 ml bottles.

We bought 20 bottles for 13€ / 11£ / 95 DKK, including shipping: Link


Nice tip @Andreas !

So if I understand:

  • an organiser fills up the black HDPE bottles from the various larger bottles before the event
  • repairers pour from the black HDPE bottles into a cup or some other receptacle during the event
  • the pouring spout delivers around 10ml pretty consistently, so people don’t accidentally overfill their cup

What’s the clear bottle in the second photo - is that one of the small refill bottles you were using previously?

I can’t understand what any fixer could be doing with a cupful of IPA. A 30ml bottle lasts me months, years even. And if you had it sloshing around in the sort of quantities you described, and in easily spillable containers, then it’d be a significant fire risk.

Inexperience and lack of useful measuring tools at an event perhaps? I know I’ve poured out more than necessary before in a rush (not a whole cup though :slight_smile: ) and thanks to yours and Andreas’ tips will have it in mind to be a bit more measured next time.

That’s quite a collection of volatile+flammable solvents - definitely no smoking in/near your events! Petrol in particular makes a heavy vapour that can collect in a recess and be highly explosive.

Is there a particular reason you need so many solvents/what distinct purpose does each have?

Let me clarify.
Our repair café is hosted in our own workshop, which is a fixed location only used by us.
The HDPE bottles are filled with the different liquids and when emptied they are refilled again by an organiser.

On the 100 ml HDPE bottles, you can screw off the top cap, which makes it possible to pour the same amount equal to that of the 10 ml bottles which we used before. When our guests pour isopropanol, they would do it directly from the bottle on the electronics. It’s work really well. I think it saves us around 95% of isopropanol with these bottles compared to a cup and a 500 ml bottle.

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It’s a good question you are asking. Smoking will never be an issue, since we are doing this inside in our workshop. The closest place to smoke is maybe 50 meters away.

There are two reasons for the selection. First is that volunteers and guests often ask for solvents which they are used to working with. Eg. cleaner’s naphtha (rensebenzin) is popular in Denmark for removing old stickers.

The second is the we try to teach people to use the right liquid for the right purpose. Petroleum is used when cutting glass, IPA is used for electronics, acetone for very dirty things etc.

If you think that we could skip some of the solvents, then let me know. :+1:


Mainly I was wondering if I’m missing something that could be useful :slight_smile: